x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

League to move two league games a round to pay-per-view

Two Arabian Gulf League games each match weekend will now be exclusively available on pay-per-view television and not broadcast for free.

Fans of Grafite and Al Ahli may find themselves having to pay to watch their side face opponents on television on occasion. Satish Kumar / The National
Fans of Grafite and Al Ahli may find themselves having to pay to watch their side face opponents on television on occasion. Satish Kumar / The National

Two Arabian Gulf League (AGL) games in each match week this season will be shown on pay television, the league announced yesterday.

It comes after an agreement between the organising body of the AGL, the Pro League Committee (PLC), and host broadcast partners Abu Dhabi Sports Channels.

The move, which the AGL says is a first for the Middle East, is part of plans to build on strong viewing figures since the league turned professional at the start of 2008/09. The AGL also hopes this will attract larger attendances at stadiums.

“By encrypting two of the seven matches per round on pay TV, we intend to drive greater stadium attendances,” said the PLC chief executive, Colin Smith, on the decision to make this move.

“Over the longer term, the subscription element should also facilitate increased investment in the league.” AGL representatives did not say whether this initiative would be in place for this weekend’s opening matches of the 2013/14 season.

The league also did not say which games would be shown on pay TV for the first match day.

AGL matches are scheduled to be shown on both Abu Dhabi Sports and Dubai Sports this season.